The Louisiana Survey finds 91 percent of Louisiana residents support the concept of equal pay for equal work. Director of the LSU Public Policy Research Lab, Dr. Michael Henderson, says it always raises eyebrows when you see such a large majority falling on one side of an issue.
But he says that could change as the issue is debated in the legislative session.
“So you might see some individuals become less supportive of this idea as bills and the debate get into the weeds of what this proposal might require of businesses,” Henderson said.
Bills requiring men and women to be paid the same wage for the same job have been filed. Henderson says public support won’t be the only thing lawmakers keep in mind as the debates unfold. He says they’ll also be interested in what interest groups have to say about equal pay measures. He expects opponents to the proposals to make a strong case before the legislature.
“People like the idea of the state requiring equal pay for equal work between men and women, but how is that going to be implemented, what are the implication of that going to be?” Henderson said.
Henderson says there are gender and party differences in how respondents view gender discrimination. The report finds 61 percent of women say there is a lot or some discrimination, while only 55 percent of men agree. Likewise 56 percent of Democrats say there’s a lot of discrimination, and just 11 percent of Republicans think so. He says that opens the door to see some divide on equal pay legislation.
“We’ll see some of the people who are less sympathetic to the idea that women still face discrimination maybe move away and back off some of the support for equal pay once we see this thing become highly debated,” Henderson said.